UPDATE 2-Air strikes shut production at Libya's El Feel oilfield - NOC

Ayman al-Warfalli

(Updates with production being halted by air strikes)

BENGHAZI, Libya, Nov 27 (Reuters) - Air strikes halted production at Libya's 70,000 barrel per day (bpd) El Feel oilfield on Wednesday, the National Oil Corporation said, as eastern-based forces retaliated after a rival group took control of the field.

The fighting reignites a conflict for control of large oilfields in southwestern Libya between competing military alliances that are also battling on the outskirts of the capital, Tripoli.

"There have been air strikes at the gates of the El Feel oilfield and inside a housing compound at the field used by NOC personnel," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla said in a statement.

"Production will remain shuttered until military activity ceases and all military personnel withdraw from NOC's area of operations."

The eastern-based Libyan National Army (LNA), led by Khalifa Haftar, said its jets had launched air strikes "at the perimeter of El Feel oilfield targeting the positions of armed groups that attacked the field."

Earlier on Wednesday, forces aligned with the internationally recognized government in Tripoli had claimed control of El Feel following clashes.

Some members of the forces posted videos or photos on social media appearing to show them at the field.

Libya's oil production has been repeatedly disrupted in recent years by conflict and blockades, but is currently relatively stable at about 1.25 million bpd.

Libya has been divided since 2014 into rival military and political camps based in Tripoli and the east. Haftar controls most of Libya's oil fields and facilities but oil revenues are controlled by the central bank in Tripoli.

El Feel is operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint venture between the NOC and Italy's Eni. An engineer at the field said production stood at 70,000 bpd before the stoppage.

Haftar's forces had controlled El Feel and the nearby El Sharara oilfield, Libya's largest, since February, when they swept through the south before launching an offensive on Tripoli in April.

The campaign for Tripoli quickly stalled, though fighting between rival forces continues on the outskirts of the capital. (Additional reporting by Ahmed Tolba Writing by Aidan Lewis Editing by David Clarke and Kevin Liffey)